As the playoff picture begins to take shape for the Liberty Center Tigers and the Evergreen Vikings, they come up on an important matchup against one another in week 10. The Tigers are confident that how they finish the season will be enough to bring them to the playoffs - they come into the game projected to finish 3rd in the Region 23 playoff standings. For the Vikings, chances aren't looking quite as good as they're projected to finish 20th in Region 23. The Tigers will come in as the favorites, projected to win the game 41-15. The Tigers, one of the better teams statewide, come into the game ranked 59th. On the other hand, the Vikings come in ranked 525th in the state and 69th in Division 6. For Evergreen, the inferior team on paper, this is a chance to ride the home crowd and prove themselves capable against a solid opponent. However, for Liberty Center, the expectation is a decisive road victory. The teams have played each other in each of the last five years so neither is likely to surprise the other. Over their last 5 matchups, the Tigers have won 5, a trend they hope to continue. In last year's installment, the Tigers came out on top by a score of 37-7.
After their 35-13 win against the Patrick Henry Patriots last week, Liberty Center is 8-1 and looks to finish the season strong. The Tigers have boasted one of Division 6's best offenses all season, averaging 36.4 points per game, which ranks 20th. In their last 6 games, they've been even better, scoring 41.33 points per game. On defense, they rank 46th in their division, giving up an average of 22.3 points per game.
For Evergreen, this week is a chance to flip the momentum after 4 consecutive losses. Last week was a 42-20 loss against the Bryan Golden Bears and they'll look to rebound strong on Friday. Particularly in recent weeks, the Vikings offense has struggled to put points on the board. In their last 3 games, they've put up an average of 12.67 points per game. Throughout the course of the season, they've averaged 22.4, which ranks 67th in Division 6. On the opposite side of the ball, they rank 68th in the division, allowing 28.3 points per game.
Prediction: Liberty Center to win (99.96% chance of victory)